tv Washington Week PBS March 20, 2020 7:30pm-8:00pm PDT
♪ robert: a nation on the brink of an economi and health meltdown. pres. trump: it's a medical war. we have to win this war. it's very important.be ro: the trump administration under intense pressure as the coronavirus spreads. >> is it possible that there is aerosol it certainly is.rt ro: the president proses a $1 trillion rescue plan. can congressional leaders cut a deal? >> our bill recognizes thei structural national crisis that requires a big, structural sponse. >> there are some people still ployed but there are many, many, many who have lost their jobs and one check isn't b goin e enough. robert: and the states,
officialse gwith immense challenges. >> you can't buy aentilator right now. globally you can't buy them. robbery next. announcer: this is "washington week."g fund provided by -- [laughter] ♪ announcer: additional funding is provided by t estate of adams and koo and patricia yuen through the yuen foundation. committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities. the corporation for publicoa asting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.
thank you. once again, from washington, moderator robert costa. robert: good evening. the economic and health crisis that has gripped theation and the world is now moving at warp speed on two fronts. by thelosing bell on wall street on friday, the markets wrapped up their worst week since the 2008 financial crisis. meanwhile the biggestities and state governments are sounding the alarm for -- for criminal medical equipment that is in short supply and golves of california, new york, illinois and florida are issuing sweeping new restrictions. the congressional response is where we beginig t. that is where with action isn i rescue plan under consideration. joininus tonight at this difficult time are four reporters who have worked hard all week at the white house and like ma you. l and from home,
like you, they are doing of the best to keep reporting and asking the questions that must be asked of people in power. nancy cordes, chief congressional correspondent for cbs news, j whons us from clip. jake sherman, senior write at polite come. ,en ea w hrserjae ng at the table is yamiche alcindor, white house correspondent for the pbs newshour. nancy, we beginith you. you're coverg the senate negotiations about this kaill-dollar p. where do those talks stand at nancy:e saw leader schumer and e ader mcconnell in the sen short time ago and they said good hey are making progress but they don't think that they are going to make thad self-imposdline of working out all the details tonight.mo likely this will spill over into tomorrow.
that does still enable them to possible be -- possibly bn track to vote on this very massive economic packagen monday. the sticking points, schumer said, have to do wi this marshal plan for hospitals, as democrats cal it, making sure that hospitals around ye counave the protective gear they need. he said the two sides are making great progress on that front. the other sticking point, state stabilization funds. making sure that states who essentially one -- run out of revenue have a backup. that's aroblem because some republicans are arguing they should have had a rny day fund arguing emocrats are they didn't think they needed one. robert: if leader mcconnell and ntnator schumer come together on an agree in the next to 4 hours, w4ill hou 2se democrats e
to quickly pass that legislation? >> that's the question of the hour, bob. i don't know the answer to that. nancy pelosi is playing it close is shuck schumer acting as a do h have the are some signs this evening that yes, he is. nancy pelosi and chuck schumer have spoken several times to treasury sectary steven mnuchin, himself a tomorrow pore -- former democrat who was active in demtiocc fundraising circles for many years and somebody who just worked with nancy pelosi on a large-scale package just a couple of weeks ago on the early stages of the coronavirus. but the b challenge for house democrats and this is going to sound crazy b perha they literally cannot bring tre house of rntatives back to washington in a meaningful way. two members of the house have tested positive for the coronaviru
another dozen or so that we know of and we don't know of everybody but another dozen or so members that suestered, he ae quarantined themselves over concerns they might have it. so it's unclear mcically how they'll pass in cou dit b unanimol.us bil consent but this is a $1 trillion package. i do an tiss payment sometimes monday, tuesday, wednesday this bill will pass. in will be bumps on the road but i d anticipate the insent active is thereod from ever robert: jake, is there any talk of remote voting fm the house of representatives? jake:om yeah,hing an n time. onl aer lrs out on
didn't. i think it's p are a lot of perils mechanically. the technology is n and we just saw the iowa democratic party have a tough te in its caucus with remoteg.otin the wh house. they've been working closely with the secretary steve mnuchin to try to cobble togetr a package. what would it mean for the economy if congress can't together in the coming days? >> absolute disaster, bob. we'r already looking at an absolute economic national agedy. the jobs report next time around is going to show job lost losses in the millions. we were 10,000 points on the do below wherere at the highs and this is just getting started. e question that iook at, if you look at a trillion-dollar this is a $24 trillion economy. if you're turning a number ofec
omies down to zero. airlines, restaurants, anything that involves a large gathering of people, hotels, all of it going down to zero, you walk around towns anywhere in this country right now and you're going to see almost zero ecomic activity. that is an etchicallyad wedustries simultaneously. even ser ee this in economic history. a $1 trillion bill won't come close to dover -- covering the damage we're going to see. what happens to alle of th americans who are losing their jobs right? n understands the scale of the economic wipeout right now pres. trump: meanwhile, president trump is staying a bif awm those gary,s. but he's still front and center in this entire national debate. andic y has been working hard from the white house asking the president and topia offic
about the federal response, with the focus on the lack of tests. at times, the president has clashed with reporters. here is her exchange with the presiden from early friday. yamiche: when will every american who needs a test get a test? why not have memory equipment pres. trump: we're hearing very positive things about testing. we don't want every american to go out and get a test. yamiche: there are americans who think they have symptoms and they can't get tests es. trump: but w don't want test. ody to go out and get robert: watch you learned inside the white house briefing rmim? e: first, the president is saying he hasn't heard of the issue that people who have symptoms in this country can'tt. simy ge wrong. everyone on cla khalil and testing.e nation is -- on abt
anthonyou said specificically today -- fauci heid today, people who are sick can't get tts. esi pthre from accountability. the president stands at the podium every day and unfortunately whiles halking about himself as tel a he's fact that there was b approved. f. we need to get he president, ty more cash to americans right eow. ilt borl $1,200 per american but the president wants way more checks to go out.
robert: what about the defense production act, whiched peppep -- help the president? yamiche: the presideaid yesterday that he wouldn't invoke that act unless there was a worst-case scenari today he said, actually, i did invokehat act yesterday and thng im direc companies to start mass producing medical equipment that is badly needed because hospitals say they' in dirpe shortages of things like masks and gowns. but in that same press conference, the president backtracked and said well, i haven't actually pulled the trigger. so we don't know whether it's invoked that act. robert: tre's been questions about kushner and other being a group in the task force. when you're talking toow daworse the chain of command and any
possible intelligences there? >> jared kushner is curious choice. not only because he's not confirmed but he has not a day of experience in widespread, large-scale disaster management, pdemics, global health cry sells. that would be like putting your gardner in charge of oral suot ecrg tor aerhend arentshony i f has served under six presint i think everyone i've spoken who to have on capitol hill iser comforted by him. he's no-no sense and uerstands the a issues hand. and let's give credit where it's due. the governors, cuomo and good aftern nuwsom have beenoon largely happy with the response from the trump administration at least they've said that. cuomo of new york said the other day thatsk everything he's for, he's gotten. that's a positive sign but
list, there are tough days ahead, as eamon said. ae administrationust sent up 50 billion more in money for just the government self and there are going to be several trillion more of bills that need to get passed here and the president i in for a very long spring and summer. so menaersolleayrd of repng any reportingf gerald kushner. i don't think he's taking the role onol capitill that he's for n in previous debates and processk on clip. thbert: eamon, jake just said pravegeacgeka $2 trillion poretely, even mor is there concern inside the republican party that they're becoming a bailout party, a spending party, a party that gives rect payments to americans or has that all
changed, that whole tea party movement to now? >> i think it has changed. you hear lindsay graham with skepticism about t idea of sending checks to americans but more republicans privately, who two weeks ago would have been enormously skeptical of this now are saying we have to spend whatever it takes in order t get america back on its feet. but what is the political damag of from economic carnage? people need to think i this through. this is much bigger than the 2008 financial crisis in terms of its scale and sharp8ss. the 2 financial crisis produce it would tea party, that anger on the right, occupied wall street, the anger on the left. we have a generationf millennials who is skement cam of the ability of the capitalist system generally to succeed. we have a president of the united states that campaigned on the idea that the system is rigged against you. i think all of these things are political legacies of the
economic wipeout in 2008 and the perceived unfairness in the way that was handl. this is going to be much bigger than that and as washington and america, weeed to think through the fairness of the collusion solutions being proposed to make sure they're what most ameri think of as just and right. if we don't get this right, the political damage for decades is going to b bigger than what we saw in 2008 and 2009 and that has shamed our politics. robert: let's stay with th point for a moment. what is just and right? how do the american people perceive what's happening in washington? as first reported,ri senator ard burr, a republican from north carolina and a member of the senate intelligence ocommittee sold hundred thousands of tock in -- i sto mid february davis days after writing that the united states
wasep better ed than ever before to confront the crisis.l california, kelly loeler, republican of georgia and jim inhofe, republican ofkloma also sold stock beforehand. on friday burphe asked senate ethics committee to review his sales. nancy, you're in at the come talking to republican senators. who is the response to the new reports about senator bur. is he being asked to resign or is it business as usual? >> the response in the public was vicious but here most of them said they didn't know all the details or didn't want to judge what burr and some of their colagues had done. i think this is a very tricky situation because yes, burr did
sell off somewhere between 600 and 1.7 million dollars' worth of stock the week before the stock market started to tank and hat e was a sugstion perhaps because he was receiving coronavirus briefings, he had some kind of inside information about what was going toappen. the reaty is that the reason he was getting coronavirus briefings at that point was because of the nulls tybt evy was seeing out of asia was so direth a point that snampts were demanding these briefings so that easn'tctly a secreand burr said today the reason he sold his stock was because he was watching cnbc and what was happening with the asian markets. nevertheless, the optics are terrible andtiome c will say even if he wasn't acting on have done it. ti that is cerinly a controversy but i have to say, when we asked senators about it, they were
much more focused getting this huge trillion-dollar package out the dr they -- than second guessing what one of their colleagues might have done a month natural ago. robert: eamon knows we all love governors are taking democratic action. this week california governorvi nuw -- newsom announced stroomed measures, one day after he wrote a letter to the president estimating that more than half of the state,5 2 million people could test positive for the virus. tiontesypt bat of the day, we're body that.we direct a starddete. robert: on friday, new york governor andrew quomeo all employers to keep workers ad home band gatherings of any
size. >> we reduced it to 50% of the workforce and then reduced it to 75% of the workforce must stay home and today we're bringing it 100% of the workforce must stay home.he robert:yam when you're at the white house talking to your sourlingses the, what do these governors need in the coming weeks tourvive? yamiche: well, the president held this kind of live press nference where he was taking call from the governors all around the country this week. talked to a governor from south carolina, michigan and illinois and governors were saying in call after call, we need information on a still luss package, we need to know how our hospitals g ang to get equipment and we might also need help f nm theional guard. governors are saying they needp actualfic resources. and also governors are saying e put t out recommended things
wanted people to do, inclupeding don't d -- go in a group of larger than 10 people but you've seen governors take extra stems ou restaurants. as t governor of new york was saying, this is a mandate and we'll lawfully enforce that that's not what the white house is doing. they're givingnce but not mandates. and i'm told by some that that's a republican principal. they't d want to be seen as the federal government directing states to do things. robert: eamon, when you're covering cpanies, what matters in your reporting about how theypie h states trying to produce new ventilators and masks? eamon: you areme seeing companies responding to this and there are some companies in a mpanies like walmart, out there hiringco wo ers right n because of the enormous
logistical capacity they have and a lot of companies are looking into this id of can they start to produce these ventilators which looe they're going to be in extreme shoreege next none of that turns on a dime and the president does have the presidential act and a lot of companies are looking into it. hathe problem is this crisis is going to happen next week and companies are going to need some time to ram all this up. robert: >> should we expect statements to get financial report as part of these ongoing talks at the capitol or should they not expect that? jake: they should expect it at some point. states and municipalities are going to get hard. the focus now is filli the gaps at hospitals but in the next couple of months there are going to be so many ose spending bills that they're
going to have to back fill some these state, local, and municipal budgets or els they're going to be in big trouble because they're carryg a huge load of the financial burden. everything fvicemisogl lcati they're going to need backup and congressealizes that. and remember, it's an election year and people want to ben the goo grailines of the public during an election year. robert: governor cuomo is giving dailyin press bri actually -- televised natnally. are we seeing new players emerge? not only within the trump administration but in the democratic party? >> absolutely. thcuomo briefings are becoming must-see tv. hebut d doesn't undersell it ei. i have talked to a lot of people in states fary from new york c
who are watching for that very reason. getting back to the issue that statesre going to be facing here is the fact that unemployment benefits go out from the states, outate pockets and we'vestm seen f unemploymentim crise by 1,000%kver the past w alone. so we know that that is going to be a big issue f the states and that's one of the things that senator are wrangling over right now is how do you create a mechanism to get additional money to the states so that they can boost their unemployment benefits and how big shoulde th unemployment benefits be? robert: is the preside giving the governors leeway to decide shelter in place orders in their state? times epping back at from having sweeping declarations? yamiche: it seems that w and it seems as though, again, the white house is using this idea thatar republicans in partic believe that the federal
government shouldn't be telling states what to do.ha that's the line is when you ask white house officials about it.t hen you talk to especially some democratic local governments, they say they want more from the federal government. they say there's a leadership vac kuehl -- vacuum around president trump, that he's not telling them the best thing to do, especially when it comes to bars and restaurants. we white hou late telling people what to do on that. we saw so many cities and states saying don't sta at those bars cities like miami, where i'm from. there were a lot of peoplon the beaches and crowding and that caused local officials t ts before the white house. these are the times where people look for leaders that areco assionate, that break through, that have a message for americans that are so scared and unfortunately we've seen president trump stuffablen the
idea of being a calmer then there are tim where he has been very serious in his tone, saying this is going to get very, very bad, americans need to be individual lenlt. robert: we must live it there. thank yo to our guests. jake sherman, yamiche alcindor, ncy cordes and eamon javers. your reporting during this time thanks also to our staff and crew at weta right here, for making this all happen tonig and thank you all for joining us. we'll continuess conversation on the "washington week" extra, when -- whichou can find on your mobile and our website. for now, sy steady. i' cbem .osrtta ♪
announcer: corporate funding for "washington week" isrovided by -- ditional funding is provided by the estate of -- adams and koo and patricia yuen through the yuen foundation, cmitted to bridging cultural differences in our communities. the corporation for public broadcasting and by contribution to your pbs station from viewers like you. ghank you. >> you're watchbs.
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